Trying to find fun activities for kids when the weather outside is anything but pleasant?
On the one hand, video games give kids plenty of opportunity to burn a couple of hours inside. This works whether the weather outside is nice or not. On the other hand, most video games are anything but educational.
Sure, your little ones might get a lot of pleasure out of parking themselves in front of the TV. Many of us enjoy killing time in a digital universe.
But is that really helping them develop their young minds?
Thankfully, there are plenty of exciting, engaging, and interesting craft ideas! You can do these with your kids when the weather outside gets wet. These crafts are fun for all ages and teach children important skills. They'll also be activating their imagination and working with their hands.
Below we highlight just a handful of the most kid friendly crafts you and your children can tackle the next time the rain starts coming down. Or you can try these crafts out whenever you have a little bit of free time – they aren’t exclusive to wet weather!
1. Build Your Own “Roll the Dice” Game
This fun craft gets your children engaged, helps them burn off some extra energy, and can end up becoming a big part of play time from now on.
What you want to do is get your hands on a little bit of cardboard (an old Kleenex box works wonders), some scotch tape, and some old markers. Have the children cut and fold the cardboard until it resembles a pair of giant dice, fun for children of all ages to roll and throw without having to worry about anything getting broken.
After the dice have been built, encourage them to draw on all sides – and then label each individual side with a fun and energy burning activity. Maybe you’ll have them jump in place for five times in a row, flap their wings like a bird, spin around in a circle, or something else entirely.
Let them pick the activities – knowing they’ll have a chance to roll that for themselves or get their siblings to do the same!
2. Create “Grabby Monsters”
This craft project is definitely going to require a little help from you, but the end result is a lot of fun.
What you’re looking to do here is build an accordion style “monster” that can be manipulated to bite things. Made entirely out of craft sticks (the extra wide ones are best), a couple of brads, and some heavy duty cardboard – not to mention colored markers or paints – these monsters can be designed and cooked up by the children that you help build.
The idea is to combine the craft sticks into a crisscrossing pattern that can flex open and shut thanks to the brads. At the opposite end you attach the face of the monster the children have created, again sticking a brad in the middle of the job so that it can hinge when they work the sticks in back.
3.Put On Your Own Finger Puppet Show
The odds are pretty good that if you have a couple of young children in your home you have a lot of bits and bobs around. Dried up markers, marker caps, and other things you can turn into tiny characters for a finger puppet show the children put on.
Encourage your children to seek out these little “ingredients” and neatly organize them in a pile. This does double duty. One, you'll get all of the raw materials you need to build your own finger puppets. The best part, your children will do some picking up and organizing while removing some of the clutter.
From here, let their imaginations go crazy as they draw and design different faces and different characters on these caps and write up markers then you can glue on pieces of hair (made of string or yarn), felt clothing pieces and accessories, or otherwise dress them up however you like.
All you have to do from there is build a cardboard stage and let each child put on their own play using the characters that they have designed. It’s not a bad idea to encourage children to share the characters across the board, either – imparting some special lessons in this always fun activity.
4. DIY Board Games Are Always Fun
Board games are always a family favorite when the weather outside turns nasty, but why not break away from the “old-school” board games and instead encourage your kids to cook up their own?
All you really need is an over-sized piece of paper (or some heavy-duty poster paper, if you do a little bit of pre-planning ahead of time), some markers, some grains or colored pencils, and a little bit of imagination. Encourage your children to come up with your own variations of their favorite board games. Or, create something brand-new! Stick to established rule sets that they are already familiar with or coming up with their own rules. Have your kids work in collaboration with one another. They'll get to build a game that is truly unique and truly their own.
All kinds of household items can be turned into game pieces. You’ll be amazed at just how much time can be spent building the game, playing the game, and then returning back to these favorites time and time again.
Not only is this educational in that it teaches them how to build something from scratch, build something with a rule set, and collaborate with one another but it also becomes a treasured heirloom that all of them are going to appreciate “rediscovering” when they grow up and maybe get to play with children of their own.
5. Paper Bag Playhouses
Again, most children have tiny little figures that come with Lego sets, action figures or dolls, and other little toys and trinkets that they have personalized themselves laying around the house. If you want to breathe new life into these older toys that might not be getting the same kind of attention they did in the past creating paper bag playhouses for them is a great approach.
You’ll need paper bags (obviously), some construction paper, some tape or glue, and grains, colored pencils, and markers for them to design the houses they build for their little characters. Let their imagination go crazy – especially if they want to combine bags together to create a little town – and you might be amazed at what they are able to come up with all on their own!
This is a quick, easy, and fun project that can end up burning off hours and hours of time when the weather outside is less than pleasant.
6. Rain Sticks Are Great on a Rainy Day
As the adult you’ll have to handle the bulk of the heavy lifting when you build out the actual rain stick itself. You will want to be the one that uses some pretty heavy duty cardboard tubing, a couple of end caps that have been (ideally) hot glued on both ends, and will have to fill the sticks with rice before you can hand them off for decoration.
After that, however, you can turn your children wild with all kinds of craft materials – colored papers, patterns, stickers, fabrics, feathers, and more – to get them to create a rain stick that is totally their own.
It sounds a little odd, creating a rain stick for the indoors when you have a rain storm going on outdoors, but this is a great craft project for kids to tackle when you’re looking for something a little more low-energy, little more low-key, and a little quieter on this all indoor time day.
7. Bookmarks Are a Fun Project, Too
Absolutely anything and everything you can do as a parent to encourage your children to read more is a good idea.
And while some kids will naturally take to the habit of reading more than others, personalizing the experience – with bookmarks that they build and create themselves – is about as easy a way to get them excited about reading as it gets.
Simple and straightforward bookmarks can be created out of nothing more than a piece of construction or printer paper that has been dazzled up and decorated. But you can really go with some “off-the-wall” ideas that combine a myriad of craft supplies – coffee filters, clothing pins, pipe cleaners, pieces of fabric, googly eyes, etc. – to give them a lot more personality. The more personality you can inject into these bookmarks, the more your children are going to want to use them.
Obviously, the only way they’re going to spend a lot of time with these bookmarks is if they are reading in the first place – and it’s hard to find a more educational activity than chewing through a great book!